Decoder (Glossary)

Here are a list of words or phrases to help you understand the South African indian lingo across the country!!

Please feel free to add a word in the comments box below to be added to the glossary list.

Bra (brah) or bru
-Nothing to do with underwear at all, but an informal term for “my friend” or “mate”, deriving from “brother”. Bru stems from the Afrikaans for brother, broer.

Babbelas (bub-a-lars)
-Hangover -usually rather a bad one. From the isiZulu word for hangover ‘isibhabhalazi’

Chips! Chips!
-Nothing you’ll find in the fish and chips shop around the corner but an expression of alarm or warning. “Chips! Chips! He’s off-side”

Dwaal (dwahrl)
-To not be paying attention, or for one’s mind to wander.

Skollie (skor-ly) , skelm (skeh-lim) and skabenga (ska-beng-ga)
-Criminals or people up to no good.

Robot
-Traffic light.

Lekker (lack-er)
-From the Afrikaans meaning great or good – an expression of approval.

Jol (jorl)
-From the Afrikaans meaning “to party” or “to have a good time”.

Kif
-Great, good.

Jawelnofine (yar-well-no-fine)
-Means anything from “yes” to “ok, yes, but I think you’re being an idiot”

Fundi (foon-dy)
-An expert or knowledgeable person, from the isiZulu and isiXhosa word for teacher,’umfundisi’.

meet up
– see you later

cherrie/stekkie
–girl/girlfriend

outie
–boy

ou/owe
–person

lightie/garner
–child

tune
–tell / talk

whatkind
–hello

vaai
–go

skrik/byzad
–frightened

span
–a lot of

dala/speech
-fight

moor
–hit

smaak
–like

sissie
–sister

ma
–mother/grandmother

bullie/old man
–father

cuzzie
–cousin

dop
–alcohol

skafe/skayf
–smoke

zol
–marijuana

cab
–car

pozie
–house

pozie upon a pozie
–double story house

dos
–sleep

charou
–indian person

bruino
–coloured person

vet o
–white person

boppa
–tell on / told on

graph/graaf
–work

Chassie/Chatz
–Chatsworth

Durbs
–Durban

Joburg
-Johannesburg

waarheid
–for true?/for real?

waar
–true

100’s/hundreds
–excellent

naaring
–smell

swaak
–nothing / shame

cameway
–lets go

crown
–money

shot
–thanks

exseh
–used at the end of any sentence.

blay
–live

roti o / bread o
–hindi person

porridge o
–tamil person

slum o
–muslim person

hot cross
-christian

kickdown
–run

soek
–look

sny
–look in a funny way

number
–song

warrhapened
–what happened?

hit a march
–take a walk

pull a job
–steal something

dala a thing
–do something quickly

organise a thing there
–get something done in a quiet style. do something in a quiet way without being noticed

catch a drop
–fall

dala a move
–do a trick

meet up in da timingz
–see you soon

Goramama and Gorimami
-Mother’s brother and Mother’s brother’s wife.

Taqdeer
-Destiny

Gorifoi
-Father’s sister

Kaka and Kaki
-Father’s brother and Father’s brother’s wife.

AANY SUST YO
-You are lazy (Memon)

Dugri
-Bum (Gujrati)

Poiro and Poiri
-Boy and Girl (Gujrati)

Rupari
-Pretty (Gujrati)

Jamaana
-Era (Gujrati)

Chokro and Chokree
-Boy and girl (Memon)

Haan
-Yes

Nahi
-No

Mahr
-In Islam, a mahr ( also transliterated mehr, meher ,
or mahrieh ) is a mandatory payment, in the form of money or possessions paid by the groom, or by groom’s father, to the bride at the time of marriage , that legally becomes her property. While the mahr is often money, it can also be anything agreed upon by the bride such as jewelry, home goods, furniture, a dwelling, some land. Mahr is typically specified in the marriage contract signed during an Islamic marriage.

Chal choop thayja
-ok stop crying (Gujrati)

Arka
-bones (Gujrati)

Bacchi
-little girl

Tsotsie
-Thief

Taaru dil koi diwas khowaylu ni rey
-Your heart will never be lost. (Gujrati)

Kem thay?
-Why do these things happen? (Gujrati)

Sacchi
-Truth

Ma e chokri ka chui geno badi nakam jo nai
-Ma just tell this girl that all this isn’t necessary. (Memon)

Inke karno aai tho inke randiyo
-If she wants to do it then leave her. (Memon)

Inke badhi karno aa
-She insists on doing all this work. (Memon)

“Randiyo” or “Viyaadi naa Kar”
-Take it easy. (Memon) “Viyaadi naa Kar” can also be translated to “don’t worry”.

Viyaadi na kar inje sis je
-Don’t worry about her mother-in-law. (Memon)

Padkos
-The South African word referring to food for a journey.

Kabaab na arku
-Directly translated from Gujrati to English, “Bone in the kebaab”. In other words, 2 is company 3 is a crowd.

Maru naam en taru kamam.
-Take my name and your work gets done. (Gujrati)

Injo chokro banalo nai
-Well Her son is no doctor. (Memon)

Bas kar
-Stop it (Memon)

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